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The Smoking and BBQ thread


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Check the local ads for a Weber 57cm Kettle BBQ. You should be able to get one for £50-£100 and it’ll do everything (apart from pizza). It doesn’t need to go in the shed and can live outside all year. 

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I have a Weber kettle and a heap of attachments - rotisserie, pizza stone etc. Can’t really go wrong IMO. You’re covered for everything pretty much. It has definitely earned its keep over the past 3 years and stays outside. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wanted to ask about quantity of charcoal with a Weber. I manage fine with temperatures etc, but I keep thinking I’m using too much lumpwood or briquettes, wasting money. Is there any guidance on how much to use, or is the standard just to fill a chimney starter to the top every time?

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I always fill the chimney up and usually struggle to get everything cooked before it's getting too cold so can't imagine using less than that for grilling.

 

I fired up my mini kamado thingy this week and it ran at over 200c for about 3 hours on a tiny amount of coal which was nice.  Now trying hard to lust after a full sized one to replace the Weber.  

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the kamado's sip at charcoal as the walls are so much more insulated so you lose much less heat than thru a metal radiator which is literally trying to warm up your garden.

 

in my big Primo which has a firebox divider I've had a half load of charcoal with some left after an overnight low and slow for a brisket or shoulder, they're super fuel efficient

 

density of fuel comes into play as well, I posted a week or two back about using a mix of an engineered charcoal mixed with lump single variety charcoal, the engineered being more even and dense burns for longer I believe, you can feel the lump is much lighter for an equivalent sized piece..

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I use anywhere between a half a chimney and full chimney topped up when I cook depending on what I am cooking and how long. I prefer to use Australian heat beads but they have. Been hard to get lately. I find if I close the vents as soon as I have finished cooking there is always charcoal left for the next cook.  

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So to use indirect cooking/convection, it sounds like it actually is always necessary to use a full chimney. I’m guessing for direct cooking you can get away with less, like with those disposable bbqs that have about 3 pieces of charcoal in them. 

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On 16/05/2021 at 13:55, GwiDan said:

So to use indirect cooking/convection, it sounds like it actually is always necessary to use a full chimney. I’m guessing for direct cooking you can get away with less, like with those disposable bbqs that have about 3 pieces of charcoal in them. 


I used almost a full chimney of decent lump wood for two burgers the other day - it’s more about the size of the bbq than what you’re cooking, if I had my Weber with proper dividers / slow n sear I could have used lots less due to the design.

 

With a kettle you are heating up a big void and there is no insulation so the kettle is radiating off that heat so the losses are high - it’s why Kanmados use less fuel as there is a much smaller void and incredible insulation!

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I spent a disgusting hour or so cleaning out my smoker after it sitting idle for probably almost 18 months last week. Totally worth it though as today I’ve had this bit of pork shoulder on there since 7am

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The perfect mix cookinpellets seem good so far, a nice bit of hickory smell without being totally overwhelming. 
 

Currently at 80 degrees internal so not too long to go now. 

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Living with a veggie and being a part time veggie myself it’s stuff like @Jonny5 pics above that just stops me going full time veggie, my word that looks amazing!

 

I have to rescue my Traeger soon and letting my mate borrow it as can’t really use it until we move, thinking of putting some pork related conditions in the loan agreement 🤤

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On 22/05/2021 at 00:54, Shimmyhill said:

Living with a veggie and being a part time veggie myself it’s stuff like @Jonny5 pics above that just stops me going full time veggie, my word that looks amazing!

 

I have to rescue my Traeger soon and letting my mate borrow it as can’t really use it until we move, thinking of putting some pork related conditions in the loan agreement 🤤

822107A1-E33A-45F5-8863-C9E224CFD624.thumb.jpeg.41edd5a75f3b45f4dcab65228982db70.jpeg

 

Pulled pork, mac & cheese and coleslaw (with apple sauce & bbq sauce)

 

Get your Traeger back man!

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Finally had a chance to try the KJ.

 

Bit of a baptism of fire as had people over. Managed to do some amazing chicken thigh kebabs but but messed up some Hangar steak. I tried to reverse sear but the pieces were a bit small so overcooked it on the slow cook. It all has an incredible charcoal taste though. Proper deep flavour. 
 

Was proud of being able to maintain the right temp for a couple of hours too!

 

Did pizza on the stone too. Prob need to improve the dough recipe but they came out pretty well. A bit too crispy perhaps. 
 

Doing some ribs today. Great bit of kit. You can see why it’s expensive as it all feels very solid and high quality. Roll on the bbq weather!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did some amazing smoked ribs this weekend using some maple smoking wood  and MeatLabCo Pigasus rub. Best ribs I’ve ever tasted!

 

Also did a couple of large bits of bavette. Opened up all the vents after the ribs and was up to 700 F within 10 or so mins. 
 

I forgot to do after pics as was too busy eating!

 

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I'm loving the mini Kamado Joe at the moment, I always have it cleaned up and loaded with charcoal ready to go and am using at least 2-3 times a week for dinner as my other half is a full convert that steak/burger chops taste way better cooked over live fire. It sat a bit unloved and unused for several years but really found its place, especially when I swapped out the useless bottom grate its supplied with to hold up the coals, it blocked far too easily and killed airflow, so I got a compatible stainless one with far bigger gaps.

 

The clincher with the little kamado is how quickly I can get it lit and up too a good temp for searing steak or burgers, 250-300c within 15mins I timed the other day.

 

Even if hot its nicer to quickly cook something outside rather than heating up the kitchen with an oven or the stand over the hob. 

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6 hours ago, Gotters said:

I'm loving the mini Kamado Joe at the moment, I always have it cleaned up and loaded with charcoal ready to go and am using at least 2-3 times a week for dinner as my other half is a full convert that steak/burger chops taste way better cooked over live fire. It sat a bit unloved and unused for several years but really found its place, especially when I swapped out the useless bottom grate its supplied with to hold up the coals, it blocked far too easily and killed airflow, so I got a compatible stainless one with far bigger gaps.

 

The clincher with the little kamado is how quickly I can get it lit and up too a good temp for searing steak or burgers, 250-300c within 15mins I timed the other day.

 

Even if hot its nicer to quickly cook something outside rather than heating up the kitchen with an oven or the stand over the hob. 

Yeah I’ve been surprised at the ease of use of the Kamado Joe and also how amazingly efficient it is. I’d watched so many YouTube vids on it and they make everything sound so complicated but it’s actually very intuitive. Easy to light and pretty quick

to get up to temp. Flavour wise it’s fantastic - even if not using smoking wood everything gets a great bbq flavour and it defo retains the moisture. 
 

With leftover charcoal from Sat I chucked on some chicken wings on Sunday. Got it up to 260c, heat deflectors on and 30 mins later done. Not much more hassle than sticking in the oven but way tastier and, like

you say, much better to cook outside. 
 

Basically it’s just a very versatile oven. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've tried smoking ribs a few times now, but they seem to always be quite tough.

 

Am I right in saying that tough ribs implies them not having cooked for long enough, and if I keep cooking them they'll just keep getting softer and softer, rather than getting tough again?

 

After I smoke them for a few hours, I'm wrapping them in foil with some apple juice for another few hours. Cooking them at between 250-300°F.

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A good rule of thumb for ribs is the 3-2-1 method. Smoke for 3 hours, wrap with some liquid for 2 hours, unwrap, sauce up & smoke for 1 hour. 
 

Ideally by the end of the wrapped stage the ribs should be tender and soft, the last hour is mostly to set the sauce. 
 

Do you remove the membrane on the ribs before cooking?

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1 hour ago, Jonny5 said:

Do you remove the membrane on the ribs before cooking?

Yeah I did. 

 

They're spare ribs, really thick, and I'm not really trimming them a lot, save for the membrane and some chunks of fat. I was scared that the toughness I was encountering was me overdoing them, but after reading a bit more I just think that they're underdone.

 

My grill/smoker isn't a particularly good model for smoking either, it leaks a lot of smoke and therefore heat out of the lid, so I think I'm having to burn quite a lot of charcoal to get the cook done.

 

I've been using the snake method so far, in rows of 2x2 lumps. That seems to keep the kind of temps I need going, but the snake runs out too quickly to keep the ribs cooking. I'll need to add more coals later on in the cook.

 

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On 14/06/2021 at 14:34, Gotters said:

especially when I swapped out the useless bottom grate its supplied with to hold up the coals, it blocked far too easily and killed airflow, so I got a compatible stainless one with far bigger gaps.

 

Link pls. 

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8 hours ago, petrolgirls said:

 

Link pls. 

 

this was it, had to come from the US so took a week or so. mine came supplied with a cast iron base plate which had small drilled holes in, it rusted over winter several winters very badly and the holes were far too small to start with 

 

this is a grate but the bars are close together so you don't lose lumps thru it at all, the airflow is just so much better than the one supplied with mine and has resulted in me using this all the time now as its a breeze to get going

 

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01N5G2S14/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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  • 4 weeks later...

Decided to do a bit of brisket today, Sainsbury began selling a point end recently.

 

Rushed out to Waitrose this morning and bought some cocoshell briquettes and now have it sitting in the barbecue cooking away, simple Dalmatian rub is what I've gone for.

 

Got the Weber sitting at a stable temperature but a little bit higher than amazingribs suggests but I've also read as it's grass fed British meat it won't have as much fat as US beef so benefits from a higher temperature. I'll report back later as to how it turns out. Not sure if I'm going to cover it or not.

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Still waiting. Hopefully over the stall now as it's hit 78c and risen a couple of degrees in a relatively short period.

 

Had to replenish the coals about 45 minutes to an hour ago.

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It's done!

 

The point is bloody gorgeous and I'm very happy with the crunchy bark, definitely not going to cover it next time either. The extra time is well worth it.

 

The flat, on the other hand, is dry. Very tender but dry, just not enough fat in the meat. I'm going to have to try and counter that some how.

 

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No real smoke ring to speak of either, the cocoshell supposedly burns quite clean, I can taste some smoke though. I may have to add some wood to get a smokier flavour, however.

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Brisket no.2 went into the barbecue at around 10pm this evening. Tried a different method with the slow n sear and in struggling to get the temperature to stay below 140, it should be nearer 110 according to amazing ribs.

 

No.2 is 5kg, compared with the 2kg original, which is why I'm going for the longer overnight cook.

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